Hosting A Blog Giveaway

blog giveawayAs a new blogger, I thought giveaways were the key (or one of the keys, at least) that would help boost up my followers, my readers, and my views. While hosting a blog giveaway can certainly help to do many of these things, it’s not a magical fix. Sure, they can certainly help draw in readers, but it’s not a magical fix that’s going to all of the sudden make your blog super popular. Here’s some tips that I’ve learned myself by doing giveaways and learned from other bloggers as well:

 

Determine Why You Want to Host a Giveaway

There’s actually numerous reasons to host a giveaway–not just wanting to increase your followers. Independent Fashion Bloggers lists a few good ones: increase blog followers, increase your social media presence, reward your followers, or build a relationship with a brand. This can also determine you’re criteria for your giveaway and possibly what you’re giving away.

Although increasing blog or social media followers seems super appealing, I’d recommend doing one for your current followers or readers, to reward those who are already supporting you and reading you!

 

Make Giveaway Entries Simple

This is one of the mistakes I’ve definitely made. Independent Fashion Bloggers says to keep it simple. If people are  confused or have to read too much to enter, they’re likely to move one without entering. You’ll also want to keep it the amount of things people have to do to enter relative to the prize’s value: if you have people do too many things for a small $25 prize, they may move on without entering (I’ve definitely been there with other people’s blogs).

 

Avoid Spam

Nobody likes a spammer. Promote your giveaway, but don’t overkill it, or you may lose some of your current followers (I’ve unfollowed people for being too annoying as well). Independent Fashion Bloggers writes: ” Not sure what counts as spam and what doesn’t? Here are some hints: If you’re leaving comments on blogs that basically consist of “enter my giveaway!” or tweeting the same at random strangers, you’re spamming. If you send a mass e-mail to a bunch of bloggers you’ve never spoken to before asking them to post/promote/share your giveaway, you’re spamming. If you post your giveaway link to a fashion blogger’s Facebook page when they haven’t asked you to, you’re spamming.”

 

Working with Sponsors

Craft Buds has a super awesome, clear guideline on sponsors. If your giveaway was provided by a sponsor, you’ll want to direct traffic to them somehow to increase your chances of working together in the future (and some sponsors might even require it). An example they use is: “Ask the participants to go to the site and comment on something they saw there. You’ll be much more likely to get future giveaway sponsors if you treat your sponsors right.”

 

Create Crystal Clear Guidelines

Have easy to understand terms and conditions (such as if you can only mail to the US) and don’t keep readers in the dark. Although I sometimes forget, I want to make it clear to my readers how I pick winners, when it starts and ends, and who won once I pick a winner (so that my readers don’t think I’m cheating them)!

 

Keep it Organized

I personally love using Rafflecopter for my giveaways because it’s simple for you to use, it’s simple for your readers to use, and it keeps track of everything. But it’s not always the perfect option. For instance, I’ll be hosting a video/photo contest where contestants must submit a photo and/or a video. I’ll probably allow e-mail entries as well as entries via social media that I’ll track via a hashtag, making sure I add each entry to an Excel spreadsheet.

 

Keep it Legal

You can’t require anyone to pay anything to enter a giveaway in the US. There’s also other stipulations that are kind of iffy as well: many people in my blogging community say you can’t require people to “like” something on Facebook (but it’s pretty safe to have that as an option as an additional entry). I always like to include one easy for anyone entry that doesn’t require them to like or tweet anything, such as leaving a blog comment, even if it’s not necessarily increasing my goal of increased followers.

If you want a good example of a giveaway, we’re hosting one right now at The College Investor: Countdown to Black Friday $1,000 Giveaway.

What are your thoughts on hosting a blog giveaway?

About Kristen Gillette

Kristen Gillette is a freelancer who has written for a wide variety of publications including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, thINKingDANCE.net, the Philadelphia Dance Journal, TechnicallyPhilly.com and more. She runs AdultBallerinaProject.com

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